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Mustangs bowl over field in first-ever foray in lanes

By Neil H. Devlin
Mullen Sports Information Specialist

In their first season, Mullen’s Mustangs bowled them over … almost literally.

The Mustangs instituted three teams and one of them, Mullen Blue, actually grabbed fourth place at the recent Colorado High School Bowling Foundation Championships at the AMF Bowling Lanes, near the school on South Federal Boulevard.

Regan Archibald, Michael Caulson, Grant Fecteau, Carson Freeman and Collin McDade comprised the first-year Mullen team that finished behind champion Doherty Spartans Blue and runner-up Falcon Falcons 1. The Mitchell Marauders took third.

“I didn’t do too well individually,” Freeman said. “I was exhausted, but am glad that as a team we were able to take fourth and that’s what mattered most.”

Said Caulson, who topped the team with a 64th-place finish individually: “It was amazing, so much fun. It was a little shocking, but awesome.”

The group first started bowling together in Suzanne Beski’s class. Freeman said “she noticed us and pointed us” to Ron Buckner, a certified coach for decades, at the local lanes. Buckner became the Mustangs coach, they formed a team and started practicing every other week.

Eventually, Freeman said, a couple of other Mullen teams were created.

They joined the Bowling Foundation, which has about 200 prep boys and 80 girls, according to Wendy Whatton, a state administrator and leader of the Colorado Springs Conference. There are 51 teams. Mullen Blue joined with Mullen White, Mullen Gold and Belleview Co-Op to form the new Southern Denver group.

The season began in October and had 10 competitions. Each team had five bowlers. The format included regular games as well as baker games in which there were alternate shots. Individual and team scores were compiled. Fifty percent of the teams advanced to state, including Mullen Blue, which was news to the team as well as throughout the state field.

“Yeah, we were very surprised because most people were telling us that you don’t it make in your first year,” Caulson said. “And we were just a bunch of seniors having fun.”

At state, there were three rounds – a regular game and a couple of bakers – against a series of teams. The top five teams advanced to final rounds.

“It comes down to relaxing, getting to the alley and bowling your best game,” Freeman said.

Buckner said he was impressed with the Mustangs and “they did great.”

The Bowling Foundation stands alone from the Colorado High School Activities Association. Some schools opt to offer bowling as a club sport; others don’t, Whatton said. Several are co-op teams.

While it recently was announced that bowling would be offered on a unified basis (it would include a mix of regular and special-needs participants) in a pilot program, there has been no move to have the sport officially sanctioned. It would have to meet the requirements of Title IX (females would have to account for the majority of participants).

As it is, the Bowling Foundation is growing.

Plus, Whatton said, “last year, we gave out over $12,600 (in scholarships). How many sports can say that to a high-school kid?”

The first time for Mullen proved sweet.

“No, I only started bowling in October, so I hadn’t had any experience … literally,” Caulson said. “We did it just to have fun with friends.

“Yeah, we were surprised and I think everybody there (at state) was surprised. No one saw us coming.”

Freeman, who also played tennis and will throw the discus and shot put this spring, referred to it as “definitely a great experience and to start out as the first team for Mullen and being able to qualify as well ... it was a big achievement for the coming years. And it was definitely one of the best experiences I’ve ever had in my sports career.”


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Athletics Office

Athletic Director
Mr. Vince Massey
303.761.1764 Ext. 3314

Vince Massey joined the Mullen Community in the Fall of 1995. He has served as a classroom teacher, dean of students, and currently serves as Athletic Director and Director of Safety and Security. When not at Mullen, Vince enjoys spending time with his wife Jessica and his three kids, Danielle, Jacob and Joey.


Associate Athletic Director
Mr. Hank Hooper
303.761.1764 Ext. 3316

Hank is in his 18th year at Mullen High School. Prior to arriving at Mullen, Hank taught and coached at Little Rock Catholic High School in Arkansas for 6 years and then Dallas Jesuit in Texas for 71/2 years. At Mullen Hank taught English and coached football for 14 years before transitioning into an administrative role. Hank has worked in the Athletic Department as Dean of Athletic Renewal, Assitant Athletic Director, Interim Athletic Director, and currently as Associate Athletic Director. Hank and his wife Pam have two children both of whom are Mullen grads, Lindsay ('07) and Patrick ('04). Lindsay is the Registrar at Mullen High School and is also the Mullen POMs dance team's head coach. Patrick and his wife Heather both work for the NHL's San Jose Sharks where Patrick is the Digital Media Manager and Heather is the Shark's Foundation Director. They, also, became proud parents in March of this year to Graysen Rhea Hooper.

Associate Athletic Director
Mr. Duan Ruff
303.761.1764 Ext. 3318

Duan is a Husband, Father, Brother, Son, Teacher, Associate Athletic Director and Certified Yoga Instructor. He has a spouse and four children, and loves to spend time outdoors, engage in community service and believes in living a complete healthy lifestyle. The Ruff parents are vegan, while his kids are vegetarian.  Duan earned his undergraduate degree in Liberal Arts with a minor in Economics from Colorado State University. He also has earned an MBA from the University of Phoenix. He has more than 10 years of teaching and administrative experience as well as 4 years teaching and working in diversity, social justice and retention at CSU as the Assistant Director of the Black African-American Cultural Center. In addition, the former Mustangs star player can create and implement mentoring programs, leadership programs and large-scale conferences, retreats and symposiums. Most of all, Duan enjoys being a support system and consults with others about the appropriate lifestyle.


Karen Lane

Administrative Assistant
303.761.1764 Ext. 3319




Director of Sports Medicine
Mr. Joey Mahmood
303.761.1764 Ext. 3343

Joey Mahmood joined the Mullen community as a teacher and the head athletic trainer in the fall of 2011. Joey currently is the Director of Sports Medicine, the Department Chair of Physical Education and teaches physical education and science classes. Joey considers himself lucky to be able to help student athletes stay healthy during competition and then teach students in the classroom how to take care of themselfs and others. When Joey isn't at Mullen he is spending time with his wife Michele, two sons Dino and Enzo and his two dogs, Duke and Trigger.



Sports Information Specialist
Mr. Neil Devlin

A native of Phoenixville, Pa., a suburb of Philadelphia, Devlin has covered high-school sports in Colorado for 38 years through newspapers, television, magazines and the Internet. A former participant in four prep sports at St. Pius X High School in Pottstown, Pa., began his role as Sports Information Specialist at Mullen in 2017 and has been inducted into various scholastic halls of fame and won numerous writing awards. Devlin occupies the only full-time sports-information position at a high school in the state. Also a contributor to other media outlets in the Denver area as well as other spots in Colorado that helps promote Mullen athletics, his goal is to turn the Mullen Broadcasting Network (MBN) into a class within the curriculum, to expand the network and website, and ensure it’s a student-run operation.




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